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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Screen shots for Dummies using MS Paint

Screen Shots are very useful tools for illustrating instructions. It can also be invaluable when requesting for help as it helps one to explain one's problems. Here are some useful instructions and tips and tricks regarding screen shots.

Tools for making screen shots are photo editors like Irfanview (free and very useful), MS Paint which can be found under ACCESSOEIES in all computers running MS Windows. If you want fancy stuff, there is also the open source (and therefore free) GIMP which is as good as the very expensive Photoshop.

Screen Shots with Paint

Let us start with the basics and do a screen shot of, say, this page. What you need to do is to save a copy of the screen shot of this page into clipboard by pressing the key PRINTSCREEN or PrintScrn. Now move your mouse cursor over the START button MS Windows START button, move the mouse cursor to ALL PROGRAMS, then to ACCESSORIES, and finally to MS PAINT

How to open the program MS Paint from START button

Once the program MS PAINT is opened, go to the menu bar, click EDIT > PASTE and the screen shot you earlier copied into clipboard will be pasted into MS PAINT:

paste from clipboard into MS Paint

Now if you wish, you can use various tools to highlight parts of the screen shots to bring attention to them like I have done above. In the above, I first changed the color from the default black color to red using the color palette at the bottom of MS PAINT:

MS PAINT color palette

then click on the line drawing icon MS PAINT line drawing tool icon and just use the mouse to draw whatever you want.

You may want only portion of the screen shot. For this you will have to crop. I understand that this can be done with MS PAINT but I haven't tried it myself. I always use my favorite photo editor Irfanview.

More about that later.


  1. Hi peter,

    It's me again, I see some blogs that has scroll boxes and the contents are moving some upwards some sidewards. How can I do it? For example I put my links ( on a scroll box and I want the contents to move upwards so I can also see the bottom contents also without affecting the size of the box. Thanks...


  2. I don't understand your question but could you be asking for a scroll box? See how it is used to display HTML tags inside scroll box

  3. Thanks for the quick reply. There is a blog site where under the awards the photos are moving upward.
    And one more question, in the site at the bottom of the page, the different logos are aligned on one line. How can I do it?
    Many thanks and sorry if I have many questions.

  4. That probably is a widget.

  5. And the bookmarking icons in a row, probably a table:


  6. I want to put a box around my recipes like this blog does arounod theirs.

    I see a recipe section in their html, but I don't understand how to use it or to "tell" the text that it is a recipe.

  7. Hi Peter I will get back to you asap on the issue of linking from one page to another previously sorry just finished exams so been quite busy.

    My question for now is this I have a picture which I want to make something similar with but I want to know if irfanview is the right tool to use for it or if you know of anyother tools is there a way I can show you the picture via posts?

  8. Actually you can see the picture right at the very bottom of the page below.

    I want to re-create that picture of different angles for a different shoe

  9. What do you want to show? Images cannot be added in Blogger commenting system. I would suggest you create a blog specially for uploading images like what I did - my photo store and leave an active hyperlink to the post here in the comment to where you uploaded the screen shot you want to show.

  10. Actually what I did was put the picture in this blog

    Its right at the bottom so you can see the picture im referring to.

    What I want to do is know if irfanview is the right tool to create a picture like that but with different shoes.


  11. you have already created the images so what else do you want to do?

  12. No that picture was one I found on the internet I want to create something similar but with different shoes and I want to know if irfanview is the right tool to do it with.


  13. What you should be looking at is the camera, lighting, positioning of the subjects, background, etc. to get the photos you want. The photo editor is secondary.

  14. Where do I find the "printscreen button"....all I want to do is post an e-mail from my gmail account onto my blog, but cannot figure out how to do this. Please help! Thanks!

  15. In my keyboard, PrintScreen key is located together with INSERT, HOME, PAGEUP ect. However, there are many configurations of keyboards so I would not know where yours is located and I do not know if PrintScreen key is available for all keyboards.

    However, in the unlikely event that your keyboard does not have PrintScreen, then use free Irfanview. Press the key C to get the Capture Setup, click START and at the screen you want to capture, click F11 and you will get the whole screen into Irfanview.

  16. Thanks Peter! I didn't even realize it was a key on my keyboard. (Sad, I know!) :)


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